Jabra has released yet another set of wireless headphones. This time, it’s an improvement of the extremely popular Elite Active 75t, suitably dubbed the Jabra Elite 85t.
What is the emphasis? To filter out loud, annoying external noises, use active noise cancellation (ANC) headphones like the Apple AirPods Pro or the Sony WF-1000XM3.
The Jabra Elite 85t, which retails for $229 / £219.99, has the same attractive appearance as its predecessor, but there’s some increased heft to handle the noise-canceling technology, making these true wireless earbuds seem less compact and protrude out of the ear a bit more.
The audio, on the other hand, has been substantially enhanced owing to a new pair of 12mm in-built speakers that are double the size of those on the 75t buds and provide a broader and more well-balanced soundscape. This, along with even deeper bass, provides dimension to your favorite songs.
While the noise-canceling technology reduces battery life, the 85t buds can still provide more than five hours of playing per charge, with the charging case extending this to an amazing 25 hours.
Overall, they are a well-performing set of earphones that are great for people seeking some stylish-appearing noise-canceling earbuds but aren’t as large as other of Jabra’s competitors.
Pricing of Jabra Elite 85t
Jabra’s Elite 85t earphones cost $229 / £219.99 / AU$349 for the pair. As a result, they are Jabra’s most costly buds to date.
Still, they’re $50 / £30 less than Bose’s most recent wireless noise-canceling buds, the Quiet Comfort Earbuds.
The two earbuds, a charging case, a short USB-C connection, and three pairs of different-sized silicon EarGels are included in the package.
- Stylish and elegant appearance
- Bulkier than 75t to accommodate ANC
- Water-resistant IPX4
These buds are designed to improve the audio experience and include ANC, which aims to filter out any loud and bothersome noises in your surroundings, such as the roaring rattling of an underground train or the dull hum of a jet engine.
The Elite 85t buds keep the sleek aesthetic of its predecessor, but there’s a little more mass to fit the ANC technology, which causes the buds to stick out a little farther in your ears than before.
When you look at them in the mirror, it’s hard to tell, but this has changed the feel and comfort levels of the 85t buds as they sit in your ears. The fit is only a little less tight than in the 75t.
Another factor influencing fit is the new oval-shaped buds.
While this sounds great in theory, we discovered that they don’t fit as snugly as the earlier, rounder form and feel like they’re always on the point of coming out, even when bent to fit deeper in the ear.
Nonetheless, they are not an awful match. They are just not as nice as the last pair launched by Jabra, and although feeling heftier and hence a bit less tight in the ear, they are still fairly pleasant in general.
Each earbud also has an easy-to-use button for controlling music playing, volume, and a function called HearThru, which enables you to momentarily disable noise cancellation and listen to the outside world as the audio plays in the background.
While they don’t have the same tough IP57 classification as the Elite Active 75t, the 85t buds do have some waterproofing, boasting IPX4 water resistance, which essentially means they’re protected against the occasional splash of water or a little sweat.
- Playback is clear and natural-sounding.
- Bass that’s deep and booming
- A well-balanced soundstage
- Overall, excellent audio quality.
While we are not impressed by the revised look, the good news is that the audio quality remains excellent. In truth, there have been some advances.
This is because Jabra has included bigger 12mm speakers in the 85t buds, which are double the size of those found in the 75t buds.
This translates to a little broader and more balanced soundstage, as well as deeper bass, giving your music a touch more depth.
Speaking of deep sounds, Jabra is well-known for its booming bass reproduction, so we’re pleased to see that they’ve only strived to enhance it with the Elite 85t buds this time around.
For one thing, it compensates for the less-than-impressive fit.
In general, the audio is heavy yet warm. This contributes to a very natural sound, giving a clear and lively profile with magnificently booming bass.
Overall, the audio is excellent. It’s not the greatest out there, but it gets the job done.
Volume is also extremely high, which was previously a concern with genuine wireless buds since many companies reduced this to help save battery life.
That is not an issue with the Jabra Elite 85t buds.
The 85t buds perform an excellent job of reducing fuzzy low tones, ensuring that music sounds clear even at maximum volume.
It’s also worth mentioning that throughout our time with the Elite 85t buds, the connection was usually solid, and any calls we made while usage was without issue.
- With ANC, you may get more than five hours of usage off of a single charge.
- More than seven hours without ANC
- The charging case increases battery life to 25 hours.
- 15-minute rapid charge
During our testing of the Jabra Elite 85t earbuds, we discovered that they lasted slightly over five hours per charge with noise canceling turned on.
While this falls somewhat short of Jabra’s advertised 5.5-hour battery life, it is in line with what is currently available on the market.
Without noise cancellation, the Elite 85t buds will last around seven hours, which is the same as the Jabra 75t.
It’s also worth mentioning that this is the amount of time the batteries will survive once they’ve been removed from the charging case.
The enclosure extends the life of the buds to 25 hours (or 31 hours with ANC turned off) without requiring them to be plugged in again.
This should last you a few days if you just use the Elite 85t buds for an hour or two every day, such as during your commute.
They also offer rapid charging, which is a nice feature. Only 15 minutes in the case will net you an hour of listening pleasure. When you’re hurrying out the door.
Noise cancellation capability
- Active noise cancellation with two microphones per bud
- Good performance
Jabra has included some digital ANC in the Elite 85t, which employs two microphones in each earbud to block out unwanted noise before you hear it.
One feedforward mic suppresses noise from outside the ear, while the other is a feedback mic that cancels noise from within the ear.
Another useful feature is the ability to modify noise-canceling strength by simply turning it on and off on the Jabra Sound+ companion app.
Should I Buy the Jabra Elite 85t?
Purchase them if…
- You’re searching for a good set of noise-canceling headphones: The Jabra Elite 85t provides this, as well as excellent all-around audio quality, a great battery life, and a rather unobtrusive look.
- You love a bassy sound: These earbuds have a strong low end, making them excellent for bass heads but maybe not for audiophiles.
Don’t purchase them, if…
- You’re searching for a comfortable set of earphones: Because of the added weight generated by ANC, this set of earbuds is less light and compact than Jabra’s other options.
- You come across a wonderful offer on the Jabra Elite 75t: The prior model is often cheap these days, and if you’re not concerned about ANC, you may prefer the Elite 75t.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will there be a Jabra Active 85t?
Jabra’s Elite 85t earphones were released in November 2020 for $229 / £219.99 / AU$349 for the pair.
Can Jabra 85t connect to multiple devices?
Yes, when compared to rivals, the 85t earbuds offer a distinct advantage: they can link with two devices at the same time.
Can you shower with Jabra Elite 85t?
No, your earphones cannot be submerged in water. Furthermore, earphones may be damaged and deteriorated by contact with salt, chlorine, chemicals, and solvents.
However, they’re protected against the occasional splash of water or a little sweat.